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East Thames Buses sold to
Megabus to expand again
First launch Greyhound in the
Consortium makes National
Express Group offer
Eastbourne merger reduced
OFT misses the point
Changes to bus services in
Chesham and Amersham
VOSA needs help
A day out in Oxfordshire
through the lens of John Hammond
Huntingdon with Gary Seamarks
Ian Brown reports on a day out
on the National Express 737, Oxford Tube and Green Line 758
East Thames Buses sold
Go-Ahead Group is to buy East Thames Buses (ETB) from Transport
for London (TfL) for £5m.
TfL says it expects that the operation of ETB’s contracts by
Go-Ahead will save it more than £30m over the next nine years.
The deal includes the staff and assets, and is due to be
completed by 5 September. ETB, which has around 460 employees
and 113 vehicles, will operate as part of the Go-Ahead London
Bus Company, whose London market share will grow to 21.5%.
ETB operates nine routes for TfL, including two school routes.
All contracts will be renewed with ETB for five years, from the
date of the sale’s completion, together with a two-year option
for extension. The annual turnover of the business is around £24
Megabus to expand again
Stagecoach is expanding Megabus - its budget-price UK coach
network - from 5 October.
There will be a new cross-country service between Cardiff and
Newcastle, via Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
It follows a £4m investment in 11 Plaxton Volvo inter-urban
coaches and four Van Hool Astromega double-deck coaches.
SC 54055 one of the latest
tri-axle Volvos allocated to Rugby and seen on a
London-Bournemouth working on 24th August by Gavin Francis
They will provide increased capacity and comfort on its routes
from London to Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool and Cheltenham, and
cross-country journeys between Portsmouth, Southampton,
Winchester, Oxford, Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
Also, frequency is being increased on the Leeds-London,
Cardiff-London and Portsmouth-Leeds routes.
Megabus is also to run services on Christmas Day and New Year’s
Day. This follows on from Oxford tube which has always operated
on Christmas Day!
First Group launches Greyhound in the UK
FirstGroup unveiled the first Greyhound
coaches which will introduce the iconic
brand to the UK. Greyhound UK will
launch on September 14th between London
and the two cities of Portsmouth and
Southampton and the company hopes to add
further destinations from 2010.
In the USA
and Canada, Greyhound offers the only
countrywide network of coach services.
Celebrated in film and song for nearly a
century Greyhound has become the most
famous bus brand in the world.
Greyhound UK will offer unrivalled
product and service quality with a large
range of cheap fares starting from £1,
plus 50p booking fee, on
features will include spacious leather
seating, free wi-fi, power sockets,
newspapers and Greyhound will also offer
industry-leading customer service.
Lockhead, FirstGroup’s Chief Executive,
revealed the new vehicles and said:
“For 95 years Greyhound has been an icon
of American life carrying millions of
people across the USA and Canada.
Since FirstGroup took over Greyhound in
2007, we have hoped to bring this famous
brand across the Atlantic and I am
absolutely delighted to reveal the first
authentic Greyhound coaches in the UK.
Although built on a venerable and famous
brand, these vehicles will offer the
latest in customer service and comfort.
Greyhound UK will offer unrivalled value
for money with fares available on-line
from £1 each way plus 50p booking fee.
All vehicles will be equipped with free
wi-fi, air-conditioning, up to 20% extra
leg room compared with rivals and
industry-leading customer service.
Passengers will travel in comfort and be
able to use the time spent onboard for
work or leisure. When we introduced
these features in the USA, with
Greyhound’s BoltBus subsidiary,
passenger demand exceeded our
expectations and I am confident that
Greyhound UK will do the same.
Our services will be more attractive
than rival bus and train options, but we
also believe that Greyhound UK’s growth
will come from persuading more people to
leave their cars at home and opt instead
for our coaches. By providing these
services at an unbeatable price, and
doing so with the carbon footprint
around 23% of journeys by private car,
we think we will really make an impact
on how people will travel in the
future. I am pleased to be able to say
that “the Greyhound has landed” and I am
confident that it will set new
benchmarks for travel in Britain.”
FirstGroup is Britain’s largest bus and
rail operator and is already one of
Britain’s biggest scheduled coach
operators with over 250 vehicles
operating under a variety of brand
names. First is evaluating plans to
roll out new Greyhound UK services from
Alex Warner, Greyhound UK’s Managing
Director, explained the product and
“Greyhound UK will provide fast and
frequent services. On September 14th
we will launch with an hourly service
each way between London and Portsmouth
and London and Southampton. These
services will be provided with
convenient kerb-side pick ups at a
number of locations in both south coast
cities with all services in London
arriving and departing from Bulleid Way,
Victoria Railway Station, London.
Greyhound services will also integrate
with ferry services to and from the Isle
of Wight. All services will be non-stop
between the two cities, taking under two
hours and providing a journey time
advantage up to 40% over other coach
operators whose services typically stop
a number of times at intermediate
locations including Heathrow.
Customer service will be at the heart of
Greyhound UK. Buying a ticket through
www.greyhounduk.com will be simple
and great value with a large number of
cheap fares from £1 plus 50p booking
fee. Our Scania Irizar coaches have
only 41 seats rather than the 50 or so
typically operated by other coach
companies and the level of comfort
eclipses anything else in the
marketplace. We’re recruiting and
training our staff to be committed to
providing safe, reliable and customer
Market research we’ve conducted shows
that 46% of existing rail customers and
73% of current coach customers would
consider trying a new coach service
based on the Greyhound product and
The new services will be marketed
through a multi-media campaign with a
focus on targeted online advertising
complemented by more traditional print
and field marketing activities. The
services will be particularly attractive
to a young demographic profile that is
media and technologically savvy – such
as the large student populations in the
cities served. In addition, commuters,
day trippers and those attending
sporting and other entertainment events
at both ends of the routes will also be
attracted by the Greyhound product,
service and value proposition.
Greyhound UK coaches will have names.
The theme will be women’s names from
popular American songs such as ‘Sweet
Caroline’, ‘Barbara Ann’, ‘Jolene’ and
The Greyhound UK fleet consist entirely
of Scania Irizar PB models. Its
aerodynamic design is very
distinctive and comes complete with a
range of features:
• Weight: 13,750kgs
• Length: 12.2m
• Breadth: 2.55m
• Height: 3.6m
• Sensors placed throughout the coach
continuously monitor temperature and
humidity to adjust comfort levels. Total
air volume is replaced every 60 seconds
with fresh air at the correct
• The coaches are exceptionally quiet,
with lower interior decibels than most
• Each coach is fitted with ‘DriveGreen’,
First’s groundbreaking new system which
helps improve driving styles and reduces
carbon emissions. Each coach is fitted
with the latest GPS technology that
detects dozens of driving movements per
minute and immediately lets the driver
know how well they are driving. A
‘traffic light’ monitor on the
Greyhound’s dashboard flashes green if
the driver is driving correctly, or
amber or red if a bus driver carries out
an unwanted driving manoeuvre such as
heavy braking or unnecessary
acceleration. The driver can then make
immediate changes to their driving to
ensure buses travel more efficiently to
produce fewer CO2 emissions as well as
travelling more smoothly to improve the
journey experience for passengers. For
the passenger this means:
• Green - the journey is smooth enough
to read a newspaper
• Amber - the passenger has to look up
from their newspaper
• Red - the passenger has to hold a
handrail to steady themselves
• Each Greyhound coach seats 41
passengers, eight less that the usual
configuration on an Irizar PB.
Greyhound has removed
seats to create extra leg-room for
passengers and to enable them to
comfortably use a laptop. When compared
to competing coach services, customers
travelling with Greyhound UK can enjoy
up to 20% more leg room.
• In addition Greyhound
UK has installed highly comfortable
seating and seatbelts.
• Power sockets are
available for each passenger.
• Each coach is fitted
newspapers are available for passengers
forward to first "in service" pictures
of these most attractive coaches.
A final takeover proposal for National Express
The Cosmen Group, the largest
shareholder, has made a
final takeover proposal for National Express Group (NEG) - for
£5 a share - was made on Thursday 3rd September.
The news sent NEG’s shares soaring by 13%, to
close at 466p. The consortium, comprising the Spanish Cosmen
family (which holds an 18% stake in NEG) and CVC Capital
Partners, says it has raised its cash offer to value NEG at
£765m, but will not increase it again. The final offer is an 81%
premium on NEG’s share price of 276p on June 26, the day prior
to an announcement of an approach by FirstGroup.
Last week the consortium offered 450p, but
this was rejected by the NEG board, which favours a £350m rights
NEG - which has turned a profit into a loss,
axed its dividend and is grappling with nearly £1bn in debt -
has previously said it believes shareholders will get better
value by staying independent.
In a separate statement, Stagecoach
says it has agreed in principle to buy NEG’s UK bus and rail
operations – but not the UK coach operation - from the
consortium if the bid is successful. However, it will not make
its own offer for NEG.
Both the consortium and Stagecoach had been
given until next Friday (11 September) to make bids under
NEG’s decision, on whether to accept the offer or
go for a rights issue, will be heavily influenced by the views
of its major institutional investors in the City.
However, the jump in the share price suggests at
least some City traders think that NEG will say ‘yes’.
Eastbourne merger reduced competition
Stagecoach’s purchase of two previously competing bus companies
in Eastbourne has lead to a “substantial lessening of
competition”, the Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally
concluded today (Thursday).
The CC has been investigating the completed acquisitions of
Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish Motor Services by Stagecoach,
following a referral by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in May.
CC Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Inquiry Group, Dr Peter
Davis, said: “We consider it likely that these companies would
have continued to compete, providing bus services in the
Eastbourne area, although potentially on a somewhat reduced
“In the next stage of the inquiry, we will go on to consider
what measures should be put in place to restore competition or
protect the interests of passengers in other ways.”
Remedies under consideration include divestment of part of the
merged business to create a new competitor (which would then be
protected by the OFT), Stagecoach allowing a competing operator
to use its Eastbourne garage facilities, changes to services and
‘misses the point’
Responding to the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) announcement
that it is referring its study into buses to Competition
Commission for more detailed investigation, the CPT and PTEG
both say that more on-road competition between operators is not
The OFT’s five-month investigation found evidence to suggest
that limited competition may be leading to higher prices for bus
These relate to commercial services as well as services
subsidised by local transport authorities.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) says: “Bus
companies operate in highly-competitive local markets and it is
always in our interests to keep prices competitive to attract
passengers out of their cars and onto our services.
“There is a great deal of competition between bus operators,
large and small, although the biggest competitor for the bus
industry is the car.”
David Brown of PTEG (Passenger Transport Executive Group) which
represents the six English PTEs says: “This is an area where the
Competition Commission’s cure could be worse than the disease -
if they seek to promote more on-road competition as a solution.
“The best way forward is to use the powers in the Local
Transport Act to ensure that local authorities have more
influence over local bus services to protect passengers’
Go-Ahead Group is to buy Arriva’s bus
operation in Horsham for £5 million. The deal is due to be
completed by the beginning of October.
The purchase includes 19 vehicles and
58 employees, which will operate as part of Metrobus, Go-Ahead's
bus operation which provides bus services in Sussex, Surrey and
Kent including regulated services for Transport for London
Go-Ahead Chief Executive Keith Ludeman says:
“The acquisition of Arriva’s bus interests in Horsham provides
Go-Ahead with another opportunity to further develop Metrobus’
high quality service offer and benefits to passengers.”
decision goes against Stagecoach
The Competition Commission (CC) is
considering what action to take against Stagecoach after
deciding that the group’s purchase of Preston Bus will “reduce
competition and potentially harm the interests of passengers.”
Announcing its decision this morning
(Thursday) the CC says it believes there could be
“a worsening in fares and other factors such as service levels.“
It adds that Stagecoach operated
routes in direct competition with Preston Bus, which then found
itself in financial difficulties.”
The CC says it may
require Stagecoach to sell all, or part, of the Preston
business, impose measures to encourage new entry by other
operators, as well as controls on fares and requirements to
maintain service levels. It will publish its final report by 12
Changes to bus services in Chesham and Amersham
Some bus services in Chesham and Amersham are changing on 7th
September. The revisions include changes to operators and
timetables. Some services have been re-numbered.
3 – This service been re-numbered. Please see service 78 for
4 – This service no longer serves Pond Park, but now runs to
Ley Hill every 30 minutes.
49/94 – These services have been re-numbered. Please see
services 149/194 for
59 – This service has been re-numbered. Please see services 77/177 for
360 – This service has been re-numbered 190.
No other changes to this service.
71 and 73 –
These new services replace services 373, 374 and 375. Run by
Carousel Buses they’ll run hourly between Chesham Broadway and
Amersham Station, via Chesham Bois and Quill Hill.
72 – This replaces the 372. Run by Redline this service will
provide 1 morning journey from Penn Street to Chesham. Return
journeys can be made on service 73.
77 – This service replaces service 59 between Chesham and
Chartridge. Most of the timetable is unchanged with only minor
time changes. It is now operated by Redline.
78 – This service replaces service 3 between Great Hivings
and Chesham. The timetable is unchanged. It is now operated by
79 - This service replaces service 379 and runs return
journeys between Chesham Broadway and Poles Hill. It is now
operated by Redline.
149/194 – These services replace the 49/94. Now ran by
Redline there are minor changes to the timetable.
177 – This replaces service 59 through The Lee to Great
Missenden with a slightly revised timetable.
336 – This Carousel Buses service now operates an hourly
service between High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Amersham,
Rickmansworth and Watford. It no longer calls in Chesham at
peak times. For peak time journeys between Chesham and Watford,
please see the T2.
372 – This service has been re-numbered. Please see services 72 and 73 for
373, 374 and 375 – These services have been re-numbered. Please
see services 71 and 73 for
details. For journeys to Ley Hill please see service 4.
379 – This service has been re-numbered. Please see service 79 for
392 – This service, which consists of return school day journeys
between Latimer and Amersham School, a similar service will
continue to run by the new service 71 with
an extra bus between Little Chalfont and Amersham School.
A30 – Starting on 28th September, this new commercial
service operated by Carousel Buses will run hourly between
Chesham, Amersham, the Chalfonts, Uxbridge and Heathrow Airport.
T2 – Run by Tiger Line, started on 17th August this service
provides peak time journeys between Chesham, Berkhamsted, Hemel
Hempstead and Watford.
These look like the biggest changes ever to services in this
area! Great idea for the 336 to link Wycombe and Beaconsfield
direct to Watford says Rogan Grey.
Follow the number
links for more details of each service.
VOSA needs help
VOSA must be given additional powers to get dangerous vehicles
and drivers off UK roads.
This is the view of the House of Commons Transport Select
Committee whose report on VOSA, published this morning (Monday),
makes a number of key recommendations to improve VOSA’s
While broadly supportive of VOSA’s work, the recommendations
include giving VOSA access to ports to prevent dangerous
vehicles from entering the country.
It also says that licensing rules for PSVs should be tightened
by introducing vehicle-specific discs and rules to stop
companies whose licences are reduced at Public Inquiry, from
using capacity on other licences within the same owning group.
The report also calls for VOSA to be given IT systems and better
information-sharing arrangements with other agencies, such as
HRMC, on which it is currently hampered by data sharing
MPs also recommend that monitoring bus punctuality and
reliability should be transferred from VOSA to local Integrated
In addition, the Committee warns against privatising the entire
VOSA testing station network as it could significantly reduce
access to testing, particularly in more remote areas of the
A day out with John Hammond in and around Oxfordshire
John Hammond sent a series of pictures taken on a day out and I
have included many of these as they represent a snapshot of our
local and near areas in August of 2009. They also show the
interest to be found on such a day out not too far from Oxford.
"I had a day out on Monday with a friend around fleets local to
the area, we've been out and around visiting selected operators
around North Bucks & South Northants. As the schools are on
holiday, there were plenty of vehicles parked up at the various
We started off in Aylesbury with a visit to Redline's depot
where most of the fleet was in the yard.
Nearby is Derwent
Travel & Vale Travel. Derwent's fleet is mostly Setra Coaches
whilst Vale Travel have a mixed bag of coaches and buses for
local service work.
From Vale we moved on to Red Rose at Dinton, a few examples of
this varied fleet were present in the depot.
The Red Rose fleet can
be seen far and wide and the destination displays give an idea
of just how far that can be.
From Red Rose we moved off to Winslow, we found the yard of
Howletts (Acclaim Travel) whose fleet is mostly made up of tidy
coaches, two school deckers were present in the form of ex TWM
and MK Metro MCW GOG 275W and ex Maidstone Mk2 Metrobus F774 KKM.
Again another very
mixed bag which includes an ex Trathens Neoplan once used on
National Express services.
From Winslow we moved onto Steeple Claydon to visit Langston & Tasker, most of the fleet was in the yard, a fairly typical
coach fleet of mostly Volvo, Leyland & Dennis coaches.
Another fleet with
variety and interest.
on from here to Helmdon to visit Jeff's major yard in the old
station, again plenty of coaches were parked up on site along
with the few double deckers operated. Of interest here were ex
Oxford Olympians WWL211X and VJO204X, both of which are still
largely in original condition.
Jeff's are seen in Oxford on a regular basis as they have a
number of school runs to Headington.
We moved onto Brackley at lunchtime, not much about but
Stagecoach buses on service 500 and X88.
Langston & Tasker
operate the Brackley Buzzer town service with a smart Mercedes
Vario. The contract for this service ends on 6th September and
passes to TEX Coaches of Bodicote along with the SMS Executive
operated 499 & 508 services both of which we observed.
We had a brief stop in Aynho, not much in the Walters yard and
Cherwell Coaches yard was closed up.
We then headed back into Oxfordshire, a quick visit to Charlton
Services and then Walters main yard at Forest Hill. Walters had
several buses in the yard including three Optare Excels P334 NHJ,
R215 DKG & R207 DKG.
Charlton Services have variety and even a number of now elderly
Leyland Tigers including one from Oxford Bus once fleet number
Walters yard included
buses once used on the Tube Connection at Lewknor and the
remains of a Duple 425 coach.
Walters yard at Forest Hill.
Last picture, this Leyland National café lives in a lay-by
on the Buckingham by-pass. Its an early phase 1 example, new to
Cumberland I believe."
Banbury interlude with John Hammond
John visited Banbury on 27th August, yet again revealing the
great variety which can now be found in this fair town, only a
days march away from Oxford.
John writes "I
had a day in Banbury today, as it was Thursday market, there
were plenty of visiting buses and coaches today, many from
outside of Oxfordshire and operated on infrequent services.
There are also plenty of Stagecoach buses along with a small
presence by Heyfordian Travel who now operate the B7 & B10 town
services under contract to Oxfordshire County Council using a
pair of the uncommon Plaxton Primo midibuses.
The other regular operators were also present including SMS of
Towcester who operate to Brackley via many of the intermediate
villages not served by the 500 service, Johnsons of
Henley-in-Arden who run to Stratford and Geoff Amos who run to
Some of the variety is shown below."
KX58LJC is one of Heyfordian's Plaxton Primo midibuses
and is seen here on the B10 service to Hanwell Fields
which was taken over under contract to Oxfordshire in June.
Previously it had been operated by Grayline of Bicester.
VX56LCE is a Mercedes Vario of Shipston Link, a community
minibus operator from Warwickshire. It was seen here in Bridge
Street making a return journey to Shipston.
RXP765 is a Jonckheere bodied B10M of Cheney Travel seen leaving
the bus station.
XWG254 is a Jonckheere bodied B10M of Jeffs, Helmdon formerly
with Oxford Bus on the X90 as their 44.
It was one of four purchased from OBC, all of which are still
running for Jeffs. They were new to Parks of Hamilton.
KX09CKC is the other Plaxton Primo used by Heyfordian, this
example was working the B7 service.
SMS of Towcester currently operate the 499 and 508 services to
Brackley, although they have recently lost the contract
and it will pass to Bodicote based TEX Coaches in September.
KX56 OVV is a Mercedes Vario with wheelchair accessible Plaxton
A&M Group run a number of services in Warwickshire under the
Flexibus name using accessible Vario minibuses in Warwickshire
One such service they run is the 498 from Radford Semele and
Southam to Banbury on a Thursday.
Long established coach operator Pulham's of Bourton on the
Water run two services in Oxfordshire,
one of them is the market day only service 806 from Bourton to
Banbury which was operated by UDF 936, a Plaxton bodied Volvo.
Although Geoff Amos run into Banbury with the GA02 service from
Rugby & Daventry,
they also operate a market day special from Towcester which was
being operated by this Jonckheere bodied Volvo.
Heyfordian's 81 service runs between Banbury, Aynho and Bicester
and was being operated by this Jonckheere bodied Volvo B10M.
Johnsons of Henley-in-Arden operate two routes between Stratford
& Banbury. Working in on the 270 was this East Lancs bodied DAF
Geoff Amos run the GA02 to Rugby via Daventry, seen on this well
loaded service is AM05 JOS
SC Oxfordshire 47239 KX55RCF branded for Network Banbury B1/B2
KV53NHA Dennis Dart on the 488 service to Chipping Norton
026 - P854SMR - Volvo B6LE on the B8 local service.
P802NJN is a Dennis Dart of Stagecoach Warwickshire. It came to
Warwickshire from Stagecoach London and was part of a batch used
in Rugby on service 4
I remember driving this bus and others on that service back in
2005, these have since been cascaded to Stratford and is working
a 277 service.
Catteralls of Southam had this coach on the Thursday and
Saturday only 503 service from Southam to Banbury via Hanwell.
Huntingdon with Gary Seamarks
Gary Seamarks writes to say that he had a couple of hours
in Huntingdon Bus Stn on Monday 3rd August and I am sure readers
will b e interested to see what was happening on that sunny
Gary liked the
trio of ex Stagecoach Olympians and the ex Cumberland B10M best
and he notes that things have changed in the last year with the
last Titans having left Whippet. Also the last Fens Leyland
Olympians also departed. He adds that both styles of Busway
buses are shown and Gary hopes tol revisit once the Busway is
Stagecoach 14561 AE09GYJ is seen leaving the bus station for
Stagecoach 15465 AE09GYP is seen in Huntingdon with this
nearside shot giving an all round idea of these Scanias.
Stagecoach 21229 AE09GYZ is also seen leaving the bus station
An ex Huntingdon & District Volvo B10B with Wrights bodywork,
21162, R122HNK, freshly garbed in SC livery leaves Huntingdon
for St Ives.
Marshall Dart Stagecoach 33300 R791NRW once with Huntingdon &
Stagecoach 33307 AE51VFU and ex Huntingdon & District Dart
leaves the bus station.
This one had me going as I did not know that National Express
were running one service per day from Huntingdon via Cambridge
AMBASSADOR new Levante 206 - FJ09DXA works that one service
departing Huntingdon at 09:15.
The trio of ex Stagecoach Olympians, G184JHG J808WFS and G340KKW
laying over in the bus station.
Whippet H14WCL leaves the bus station.
Another ex Stagecoach bus in the Whippet fleet is this ex
Cumberland Volvo, K699ERM.
An Alexander ALX300 of Whippet S134EJE leaving the bus station.
The "new" order now that the Titans have gone is this Dennis
Trident/ Plaxton President with Whippet, X605EGK,
which once worked from the London General garage at Stockwell in
London as PDL5.
Graham Lord on the 737
Two friends and myself met you a couple of months ago when we
travelled on your NEx 737 coach from Stansted Airport to Oxford
at silly o' clock in the morning. My friend David is an avid
reader of your The Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page.
If you remember, you gave us all a very informative ride through
to Oxford, where we three alighted at the Park and Ride, ready
to catch a Tube to London. We were undertaking this rather
bizarre overnight coach experience in readiness for our John
O'Groats to Land's End challenge, which took place at the end of
I set-up and maintained a blog of our experience during this
I assist in maintaining the Transport of
Delight blog (http://leytr.blogspot.com)
and a version for all and sundry (in numerous parts) has been
Myself and David plan to visit Oxford on Bank Holiday Monday to
sample one of the new Tubes. We've got no precise plan in mind,
just to meet at Victoria for 1030 and see what time one turns
Ian Brown takes a day out
"Malcolm, firstly good to meet you, albeit briefly, once more. I
had a really enjoyable day and was able to gain even more
insight into NEx, Tube, Stagecoach...and even Green Line
I must say that Stagecoach Oxford gives me the
impression of being a well run, disciplined, tight ship. All of the staff appear well
turned out and customer-friendly, vehicles clean,etc. The 737
driver from Hemel Hempstead gave the impression of being a safe pair of
hands. He drove me home once before on the 1620 on a hot
afternoon. The heating in the cab area was stuck to `on`! TheTube driver was good, too. He had a name badge with,
something like, `Deputy Controller` and had two stripes
on his shoulder tab. One fascinating point was when we reached
the stop before Buckingham Palace Road, he telephoned `Peter` to
ask if it there was room to park there. Echoes of ground
movements at Heathrow (LHR). "Proceed to holding point alpha and
await ramp allocation".
Best wishes and thanks for your sharing your expertise. Keep up
the good work."
Simon Hussey goes south
I spent Saturday down in Bournemouth taking advantage of South
West Trains Midsummer madness ticket offer of £ 10 day return.
It was only when I got there, did I find out that the Air Show
was taking place as well and I also attach a picture of the star
of the show, Vulcan XH558.
I am attaching four photos that may be suitable for you.
Chambers of Stevenage
Jeffs of Helmdon. This coach used to be with Oxford Bus on the
X90 as 42.
Chris was in his home area recently and took some pictures of
interest to local readers. He writes
"Photos from Barnsley all of old Oxford vehicles. 20542 still
owned by Stagecoach and working out of Barnsley depot although
the rear shot would have you think otherwise.
The other two buses are run by Tates Travel Group. The Dart was
new to Oxford and the B10M passed through Oxford generally
working on Bicesters before moving to Banbury to work the then
X59 service in around 2002/3. Attached is a poor picture taken by me
of what was 204 and later 20204 in Bure Place, Bicester, taken on the 4th
The remaining pictures are taken mainly in Banbury and include
Stagecoach Trident from Witney at Cropredy on Fairport Convention shuttles.
The coach from
National Express is NXL29 on the 210 service through Banbury and
the other the Redline Primo working the 132.
from Germany in Kenilworth by
involved with the twinning link between Kenilworth and Eppstein
Frankfurt). Earlier this year we took part in a day trip from
to Darmstadt which required three coaches and these vehicles
much to my surprise. The vehicles came to Arriva when it took
Autobus Sippel whose depot can be seen from the Autobahn to the
Frankfurt Airport. They have Mercedes chassis."